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Overcome Shyness with Lists

Shyness is completely normal. Let’s say you move to a new city and you no longer have your support squad by your side. Don’t let that get the best of you! As you find your way, becoming a bit more outgoing will become easier and more natural. In the meantime, find the origin your shyness by creating a list. For more ways to increase your confidence, take a look at HOW TO OVERCOME SHYNESS.



Get out a notebook and write:

  • A timeline of your life from your earliest memories to the present time. Include both negative and positive events.
  • Short, personalized bios of all members of your nuclear family. (“Personalized” here means your impressions of them.)
  • Describe each family member’s predominant personality traits, and the overall family dynamics that resulted from the personality mix.
  • When you were growing up, what was important to your family members in terms of how they related to you?
  • How did you feel you needed to “be” around them?
  • How do you feel each of them saw you as you aged?

Now look at what you’ve written and underline any event, circumstance, personality trait, relationship, or interpersonal dynamic that you feel might have contributed to your developing a shy approach to the world.

  • Was your father fearful and a “worrier”?
  • Was your mother obsessed with outer success and achievement?
  • Was your older brother the shining star you couldn’t match?

These observations are not the definitive answer to the reason why you became identified as shy, but it is helpful to trace back to the origins of where our beliefs were formed in order to change them.

Should you realize that the origin lies in some past trauma, you may want to seek out a therapist to talk to or join a group composed of others like you who are attempting to live more fully in the world. Therapeutic assistance can be very helpful in facilitating understanding of the nature of your fear so you can heal and move on to pursue your aspirations.

While you’re creating your list, make a list of things that make you happy. Remember to always be gracious and humble.


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